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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2012;29(11):1716-26. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2012.685891. Epub 2012 May 24.

Occurrence of Fusarium Head Blight species and Fusarium mycotoxins in winter wheat in the Netherlands in 2009.

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RIKILT-Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 230, NL-6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Most recent information on the occurrence of Fusarium Head Blight species and related mycotoxins in wheat grown in the Netherlands dates from 2001. This aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and levels of Fusarium Head Blight species and Fusarium mycotoxins, as well as their possible relationships, in winter wheat cultivated in the Netherlands in 2009. Samples were collected from individual fields of 88 commercial wheat growers. Samples were collected at harvest from 86 fields, and 2 weeks before the expected harvest date from 21 fields. In all, 128 samples, the levels of each of seven Fusarium Head Blight species and of 12 related mycotoxins were quantified. The results showed that F. graminearum was the most frequently observed species at harvest, followed by F. avenaceum and M. nivale. In the pre-harvest samples, only F. graminearum and M. nivale were relevant. The highest incidence and concentrations of mycotoxins were found for deoxynivalenol, followed by zearalenone and beauvericin, both pre-harvest and at harvest. Other toxins frequently found--for the first time in the Netherlands--included T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, and moniliformin. The levels of deoxynivalenol were positively related to F. graminearum levels, as well as to zearalenone levels. Other relationships could not be established. The current approach taken in collecting wheat samples and quantifying the presence of Fusarium Head Blight species and related mycotoxins is an efficient method to obtain insight into the occurrence of these species and toxins in wheat grown under natural environmental conditions. It is recommended that this survey be repeated for several years to establish inter-annual variability in both species composition and mycotoxin occurrence.

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